Blog posts by future organic farmers

Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 12, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - FFA, future organic farmers


Ryan Raether

Ryan Raether’s National FFA Organization Supervised Agricultural Experience project is expanding his organic pumpkin business. He usually sells out of pumpkins by the first week of October, as he only has a half-acre of land. With the money Raether will receive from the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, he will expand his space to one acre. He will use cow manure compost as topsoil and install a dripper system to water his pumpkins. In the past, Raether has watered all his pumpkins by hand, which has been very time consuming, so he is excited to expand his business thanks to the help from his...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 5, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Shannon Good

Shannon Good’s future career goals directly relate to organic agriculture, as she plans to become a business partner in her family’s organic dairy farm, Med-O-Bloom Farms, L.L.C., after she obtains her degree from Michigan State University. There are a few specific objectives Good would like to incorporate into her farm: improvements in genetics and breeding, educating the public about the benefits of organic dairy farming, and ultimately farm processing of her farm’s organic milk.  Good’s academic studies at Michigan State University will focus on animal science, which will give her the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, July 29, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Joshua Dransfield

Joshua Dransfield’s future career goals include continuing his family’s organic dairy farm tradition, increasing his family’s herd size, and obtaining additional rental land to certify organic. He would also like to diversify and raise organic beef cattle and develop a market for his steers. Dransfield would like to continue his relationship with Organic Valley, his family’s current milk cooperative, and take advantage of trainings and travel opportunities so that he can continue to learn more about organic farming practices.  Dransfield is using his Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund grant to...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 1, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vista Verde Middle School

Vista Verde Middle School used grant funds to construct an outdoor lab to teach students organic agricultural practices (land sustainability, soil management, and how to support healthy aquifers) and how to reduce their carbon footprint (reuse, recycle, repurpose). Students reported a sense of empowerment in knowing that they could plant and maintain a garden without the use of herbicides or pesticides and yet produce food that looks just like grocery store food. Nutrient cycling through use of compost bins enabled students to see how they can use and reuse—that nothing gets thrown away....
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 25, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Vermont School for Girls

VPI South, Vermont School for Girls is a nonprofit therapeutic school for girls ages 8 through 18 with complex trauma. They used grant funding to install an organic aromatherapy herbal garden and sensory pathway. The school’s goal was to add another level of healing for their students. After installing the sensory garden, the girls were able to visualize even more opportunities for organic living. They brainstormed what this would look like and used remaining funds to install an aquaponic system where fish waste will nourish the organic plants grown for aromatherapy. Students now go to this...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 18, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


R.L. Stevenson Middle School

R.L. Stevenson Middle School received a grant to create and sustain a school learning garden--a place for exploration and creation to occur. Middle school students began their project by learning about the microorganisms that live in soil. This included building a worm composting station. Students also learned about a wide variety of seeds and grew edible plants to be used for a class salad party. After the plants went to seed, students collected them and packaged them in packets they designed. The garden continues to develop as a community space where students can read books in the afternoon...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 11, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


El Vista Elementary School

Third through sixth grade students at El Vista School received a grant to learn about organically and conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. They compared the look, taste, and smell of the fruit and vegetables, researched both farming practices, and visited a conventional farm and an organic farm. Ninety eight percent of El Vista School’s student body receives reduced or free lunch and many of its students do not get the chance to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, even though they live in a farming region. This project gave students the opportunity to see the difference between organic and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, March 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Ely Memorial School Cucumber check

Students from Washington Elementary learned about beekeeping from a local beekeeper. The project began with a presentation during the Arthropoda section of the science class. Forty students learned about the activities of the Ely Area Bee Club as well as scientific facts about bees. Participating students visited the apiary for weekly hive checks. Although the club's hives did not produce enough honey to harvest this year, the students were taught how to harvest honey during a Save the Bees weekend course given by the Ely Folk School. Students helped sell honey at the Ely Farmers' Market. The...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers

The goal of Cordova Jr./Sr. High School’s project was for students to learn how to grow healthy food in sustainable manner. In the fall, students used tools purchased with grant funds to transplant perennials and create new growing areas for the spring. They created vermiculture buckets and introduced thousands of worms to a favorable composting environment, nurtured them over the winter, and collected worm castings to make seed starter. In the spring, students started over 350 seedlings to transplant around their town in hanging baskets and barrels.Their system of composting fruit and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, February 4, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


Happy Valley Elementary School

Happy Valley Elementary School in Santa Cruz, California received a grant for the entire school population of 152 K-6 grade students to participate in the planting, care, and eating of an organic salad. Each grade was responsible for growing one part of the salad from seed to harvest: kindergarten students grew carrots, first-grade students grew spinach, second-grade students grew lettuce, third-grade students grew beets, a combo class of fourth- and fifth-grade students grew radishes, and a combo class of fifth- and sixth-grade students grew celery. Their biggest achievement is that the...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 28, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - K-8, future organic farmers


FOFGF

Pueblo Vista Magnet Elementary School Napa, California The mission of Pueblo Vista Magnet School is to promote environmental literacy through bilingual education. The school community strives to develop biliterate learners whose ability to engage in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, citizenship, character, and creativity leads to a more environmentally-just society. Organic gardening is an ideal context for developing these habits of mind by bringing science learning to life in the school garden.As a result of this grant, the school had a reason to plant more and different...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, January 22, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, funding, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


FAFO

Join us at the Annual CCOF Foundation Awards Feast to celebrate our 2019 Organic Champion, Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO). FAFO is the largest organic-focused and farmer-funded grant program in the United States. The fund is a means for dairy cooperative Organic Valley farmers to support long-term, sustainable solutions to the problems facing organic. One of the biggest threats to the industry is an aging population of organic producers, and one of the solutions is to inspire and educate the next generation of producers who will assume the responsibility of land stewardship. To address...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 21, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Gerald Peters

Gerald Peters is from and currently resides in Willows, California, where he graduated from Willows High School in 2015. After his graduation, he applied for his current job at Tractor Supply Company.  Peters attended Butte College and then transferred to California State University, Chico in fall 2017 to pursue his bachelor’s degree in crop science. After he completes his bachelor's degree, he will apply for a post-graduate degree to further educate himself on the production of crops and plant biology.  Upon the completion of his education, his ultimate career goal is to manage an organic...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 14, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Sierra Torres

Sierra Torres has a deep desire to return to her community where she knows how to affect the most change. Torres will finish her third and final year at university with a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture in 2019. Over the course of the next year, she will continue to take classes in agriculture education, small farm husbandry, agriculture systems thinking, and run a 20-acre organic vegetable production farm that sells produce to the community through a 150-person CSA, farmers’ markets, local grocery stores, student businesses, and the dining commons on campus.  In addition, Torres...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, January 7, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Makshya Tolbert

Organic farming is a trade and lifestyle that naturally lends itself to storytelling. Makshya Tolbert first found that to be true as an undergrad, studying the intersection of nature poetry and black history and wanting to write poems that expressed the intimacy between the two. Tolbert began learning to grow food on campus farms and gardens and felt empowered to write about her experiences. She was eager to fill the gap of women of color farmers, striving to reassert our multidimensional roles across the environment. Since then, Tolbert has met black farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, and thru-...

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